Al-Maliki Says Iraqi Forces Not Yet Ready To Take Over

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's prime minister tells his country's
lawmakers their forces are not ready to take over security from
American troops stationed across Iraq.

Nouri al-Maliki says "more efforts and time" are needed before
Iraqi troops can assume control in all provinces.

He commented hours before Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General
David Petraeus are to appear in Congress to deliver reports on
Iraq's progress. Their reports come amid a debate over calls to
start bringing American troops home.

Petraeus and Crocker are expected to maintain that this year's
troop buildup has reduced violent attacks in Baghdad and argue for
more time to restore security.


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